Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Random Ten

I find this week's album cover to be particularly disturbing. The title is creepy enough, but the recreation of the Kids in the Hall "Daddy Drank" sketch is even worse. What are the songs on this little lovefest? "You Were an Accident!"?

Anyway, the arrival of the After School Special drama that is Listen, Son can only mean that it's time for the Friday Random Ten.

1. Betty Davis, "Don't Call Her No Tramp" -- Holy shit, I'd forgotten about this song. It's a phenomenal bit of early '70s funk, with some blistering guitar work and scorching vocals. If this isn't cool, I don't know what is. 10/10

2. Latin Playboys, "Mustard" -- This is an acoustic side project of Los Lobos. A very nice, lowkey guitar shuffle. Highly recommended. 9/10

3. Hasta Panojo Baila Mi Son, "Estrellas De Areito" -- A great bit of Cuban music here, with some terrific violin and acoustic guitar work. It goes on a little too long -- eleven minutes for an instrumental? -- but it's solid. Not sure where this lands on the coolness range. 6/10?

4. Björk, "Bachelorette" -- My fellow bloggers will mock me mercilessly for this, but I've always had a soft spot for this swan-wearing Icelandic nutball. Off of Homogenic, which might just be one of my favorite albums from the 1990s. 7/10

5. Archers of Loaf, "Web in Front" -- Some terrific indie rock. This is a nice single from their 1994 album Icky Mettle, which I believe was actually Spin magazine's album of the year. Nice blast from the past. 9/10

6. The 6ths, "Falling Out of Love (With You)" -- Damn, I'm on a roll. The 6ths are a side project of Stephin Merritt from the Magnetic Fields, one for which he brings in different guest vocalists for each song. This is Dean Wareham, I think, in an incredibly catchy bit of happy little indiepop. 9/10

7. Joan Jett, "Do You Wanna Touch Me" -- I'm not exactly sure where Joan Jett stands on the coolness scale either. Probably wherever the hell she wants. 8/10

8. Rosey, "My Baby" -- Hmmm. This is a pretty horrible bit of poppy R&B. I have no idea where I got this, and I'm afraid to find out. I need some iPenicillin. 1/10

9. James Brown, "Super Bad" -- Well, that's a nice recovery. There are only three box sets I've ever purchased that I've felt have been worth every penny -- the Johnny Cash Columbia Years Recordings, the Muddy Waters Chess Set, and the James Brown Star Time collection. As a comedian once said, the only time a box set makes sense is if you can say, "Hey, I own nothing by Loverboy, but I think I want to own everything by Loverboy." This is an exception. 8/10

10. J.J. Cale, "Cocaine" -- A bluesier version (original?) of the Clapton song. Eh. 5/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.2 average, in spite of the Rosey meltdown. I can live with that.

Feel free to drop your own Friday Random Ten in the comments below, or flail me for my flawed selections and/or ratings. Release the hounds!


Smitty said...

This has been the busiest week ever. Atwork before 7am, home after midnight. Not sure if I still have a wife and son.

Let's hope for the best on a random 10...

1) Joe Tex, "I Gotcha"--The first time I heard this song on the Resevoir Dogs soundtrack, I loved it. The horn section is cool, though the lyrics are mildly distrubing. 8/10.

2) Buckwheat Zydeco, "Turning Point"--On iTunes, there are like 1,000,000 versions of this song. I have most-often heard the version from the Thunderbirds done by blues cover bands. Me likey this zydeco version...much jumpier. 9/10.

3) Robert Randolph and the Family Band, "Diane"--Awesome. Sly and the Family Stone meets Parliament. The lead singer plays one of those sit-down steel guitars. In a funk band. And pulls it off. 10/10.

4) Wilson Pickett, "634-5789"--I love this brand of soul; guys like Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke. What do we have today? "Sexy Back" from schlep-lords like Justin Timberlake. My folks had such way better pop than us...9/10

5) Cream, "Crossroads"--this is the Live from Winterland version, with what appears to be an absolutely smokin' solo from Clapton. He can play blues like almost no other. It's his singing of the blues that vaguely gets under my skin. But I won't suffer a loss of points for singing a bit...square. 9/10.

6) Susan Tedeschi, "Follow"--I really like her guitar work and she's got a great blues voice. This is of the Hope and Dreams CD, which is mostly cover tunes of cool classic songs (and some little-known goodies). This song has a lyrically beautiful chorus, but is sung just a tad flat and dry overall. SHe's done better, and with lyrics like this, it just felt like some of the soul was missing. 7/10.

7) Jamie Cullum, "I Get A Kick Out Of You"--this guy's jazz-piano rocks and he's like 23 or 24. I am a monumental underachiever. This is a solid variation on the Sinatra classic. 8/10.

8) Taj Mahal, "Ooh Poo Pah Doo"--A New Orleans classic from the Roots Music Master. Beads, anyone? 8/10.

9) Clutch, "12 Ounce Epilogue"--this is a pretty wild song with a driving bass line. The lyrics center themselves around disparaging pop-culture advertising slogans (The Right One, Baby, is pushing up some daisies)(So I said to the Horseman, have a coke and a smile). 8/10.

10) Staind, "Open Your Eyes"--I blame my wife for the addition of nu-metal bullshit to the iPod. Some chubby bald dude whining while guitars play as far up the neck as possible to get that nice, corporate, chunky sound we're supposed to view as edgy. 2/10 because they at least write their own music.

HUGE frt despite the weak ending. 7.8

Otto Man said...

The lead singer plays one of those sit-down steel guitars. In a funk band. And pulls it off.

Intriguing. I'll have to check that one out.

Smitty said...

I have been meaning to ask the multitude of musical gurus on this site, since mine has less visitors, each of your opinions on The Greatest Guitar Solos (musician/band, song title) of All Time. And an FRT seemed to be the place to do it. So...

Norbizness said...

My player just went on the fritz, but I have to say "Just kidding, son. I would NEVER buy you a puppy!"

Otto Man said...

Daddy drank.

Mike said...

OM & Smitty heavy on that blues/soul/funk thang today.

(You see, a goofy-ass white boy like me can say "thang" if he's talking about blues/soul/funk on OM's FRT thread. Otherwise it's nearly Michael Richards-esque.)

I don't know a lot of the songs you guys mentioned, but the ones I do know are great. And I'm with OM, a peddle-steel with a funk band! Day-umm, that is intriguing.

I'll give Smitty's gee-tar solo thing some thought, but Jimi doing Red House at the Isle of Wight Festival in late summer 1970 (a month or so before we lost him forever) has been my default answer for a long time now.

Among recent vintage, Jack White's screaming freak-out on the bridge of Black Math makes me need to change my pants every time I hear it.

sideshow bob said...

Hmmm, I haven't done one of these in a while, but I think I remember how...

1- Hole, "Violet". Say what you will about Miss Love, but this is a solid song. (7/10)

2- PJ Harvey, "Sheela-na-gig". I learned a few weeks ago that a Sheela-na-gig is a sort of female gargoyle that masturbates. I'm gonna wash that image right outta my head...(9/10)

3- Nirvana, "Territorial Pissings". Fast and dirty, a near-perfect grunge song. (9/10)

4- Peter Gabriel, "The Feeling Begins". This is the first track from Peter's soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ, which is the best work has ever done or ever will do. Amazing stuff, (10/10)

5- Marianne Faithful, "Sister Morphine". Pretty good...for a hippie. (5/10)

6- Portishead, "Wander Star". Triphopilicious. (8/10)

7- Poe, "Choking the Cherry". Remeber Poe? She's iPod form! Actually, you most likely don't remember Poe. I forgot all about her until now. (6/10)

8- New Buffalo, "While you're Away". This sound like some other artist, and it's on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember it, and it's rapidly driving me insane. Good song, though. (7/10)

9- Modest Mouse, "Convenient Parking". Yes, I was a fan long before "Float On" hit the airwaves...or fiber optic cable...or whatever medium music is generally distributed by these days. (8/10)

10- February, "Comfy". This is an outstanding song of an EP from a now-defunct Minneapolis band. Spacy and ethereal, with angelic vocals, it'd definitely be worth your while to track it down. (9/10)

7.7 average, which, I believe, is what Otto Man might call a "Gentleman's C", or what W might call "the best semester of my academic career".

Otto Man said...

Glad to see you back, Bob.

And nice FRT -- the song titles in sequence seem to be taken from the Hustler Magazine Mad Libs. "The Feeling Begins after I visited Sister Morphine and saw the Wander Star. Wacked out of my mind, I started Choking the Cherry to pass time While You're Away."

Mike said...

The 2-3 punch in Sideshow's FRT's gets a Beavis & Butthead-level "That kicks ASS" from me. Yesssss.

Sheela-na-gig is about as hard as a chick can rock without growing balls. (Which is why I have my suspicians that Corin, Carrie, and Janet have at least five, if not the full slate of six between them.)

Poe was nice to look at, but I couldn't identify one note of any song she made. I used to get her and Fiona mixed up . . . for about the 2 1/2 minutes before I actually heard wonderful Ms. Apple (if ever a lady deserved the "Lovely & Talented" appellation).

Rocky Frisco said...

JJ Cale wrote "Cocaine."

-Rocky Frisco, pianist, Cale Band

Otto Man said...

Thanks for the information, Rocky. I thought that was the case, but I wasn't sure.

For those who don't know, Cale's the songwriter responsible for a lot of Clapton and Skynyrd hits. He and Clapton have a new album out.

The Doc said...

Before I put down my FRT, I just have to say:
1. Smitty, your point about Wilson Pickett is absolutely bang on, and more succinct than I could have done. I'm going to use that.
2. SSB, your FRT makes me think I'm in High School again. Rock, rock on, Cheat Commando.

1. Shake It - Tom Waits. One of my faves from Real Gone. Sometimes I skip the first song just so I can get a good start on the album with this one. 8/10.
2. Group Four - Massive Attack. Good Massive song, but it's not a standout. Then again, that's still better than average. 7/10.
3. In Walked Bud - Thelonius Monk. Like the Monk, but nothing's really grabbing me one way or the other with this one. 6/10.
4. Deity - Ministry. I picked up The Land Of Rape And Honey a couple of weeks ago, and damn if it didn't rekindle my love of Ministry. My upstairs roommate doesn't like it, but it's rocking me. 7/10.
5. Double Team - Tenacious D. This song has one of the greatest slow builds EVER. Rock. 9/10.
6. Pump It Up - Elvis Costello. Nice track. My friends do a killer funk version of this, but (don't tell them) I prefer Elvis. 8/10.
7. Every Breath You Take - The Police. I've liked this song since I was five years old. It loses a point for being associated with Sting (who gets lame and lamer as time goes on) and another for being popular, but gains a point for being a popular song about a psychopath. 6/10.
8. Swordfishtrombone - Tom Waits. Another Tom Waits song, not as good as the first but still quirky and enjoyable. 7/10.
9. The Good Times Are Killing Me - Modest Mouse. I totally came late on the MM bandwagon; my brother loves their early stuff but I couldn't get into it at first. This song's decent, but nothing to spectacular. 5/10.
10. Cello Suite #5 In C Minor, BWV 1011, #3. Courante - Yo-Yo Ma. I love Suite Five, but by itself, this track is a weird end to the FRT. It's well done and beautiful, but not very satisfying. 6/10.

Stubbed my toe on my way to the finish, but still: 69, dudes!

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

Busy ass day. If only that meant the good doc has been busy getting ass. Sadly, all it means is no time to listen to all of every song, but just enough time to stream of conscious some FRT, which the doc fears is bad karma and will give him a 4. Total, not average.

1. Miles Davis - "Move," from Birth of the Cool

Hey, baby. I'm Miles, and I'd go the extra kilometer for you. 7/10

2. Nat King Cole - "Unforgettable"

What was his real name? Nathan Kingston Cole maybe? If the doc ever puts this cliche on a mix for a woman, give him a lifetime FRT ban, because that means he no longer rocks. 6/10

3. Bob Dylan - "My Back Pages"

One of Milt's first Dylan loves. Singalong required. 9/10

4. "Runidera" from Putumayo Presents Salsa Around the World

Milt saw some of Shatner's new gameshow at the gym. At one point Shatner said, "Yes, let's celebrate. Ladies: salsa!" And all the girls salsa danced. No joke. 5/10

5. The Beatles - "Sexy Sadie"

The White Album was the first great album Milt ever got. 10/10

6. Eminem - "Lose Yourself"

Excuse moi, por favor, for unomomento. Gotta go bench press 8,000 kgs and run a 3 minute mile. 9/10

7. The Beastie Boys - "Pass the Mic"

Doin' that thing they do so well. 8/10

8. Prince Paul - "Mr. Large," from A Prince Among Thieves

Best hip hopera ever. 7/10

9. Helmet - "Give It"

Way underrated hard rockers who plummeted off the map. 8/10

10. Smashing Pumpkins - "I am One (live)"

Seminal. 10/10

That took 8 minutes. Holler! Rewarded w/ an 81. How efficient.

Mike said...

I'm with you, Milt. That was a steamin' FRT. Finished on a vicious high too. Wow.

I may to go home and crank Gish now. If I busted out Meantime (or Betty?) I think my wife'd kick me out, so I'll stick with the Pumpkins. At least til it gets late and I'm good n' drunk.

sideshow bob said...

I fell for Bjork the instant she snapped and kicked that reporter's ass!

doc-Love that "Land of Rape and Honey"!

Otto Man said...

Ah, Meantime. That takes me back to a happy place.

Nice work this week, people. You brought the A-game.